Product Creation & Design
StudioGo is a peer-to-peer location scouter to help creatives find studios and workspaces. StudioGo is your in-pocket location scout.
My team and I began this project from ideation stages, using market and user needs research to capture a market segment where a gap existed. Reiterating constantly through extensive market research, we are in the early stages of prototyping, perfecting our UI design to afford the best possible experience. Along with fully designing the UI, I was also heavily involved in the research properties and our branded marketing.
Creative students in Canada make up a $19 million market and 58% of them have trouble finding affordable and flexible workspaces.
Identifying the Problem
To identify a target market, our team collectively found a common thread between us: we were all students. We understood that being able to identify with our target market was extremely advantageous as it allowed us to not only identify pain points more easily, but it gave us the space to empathize fully with our user. We synonymously agreed that we all faced financial pains as students, especially in regards to long-term financial commitments to workspaces. To narrow down our market segment, we performed an adoption curve analysis and identified our beachhead as creative students specifically, as our surveys showed that creative students tended to be more likely to pay for workspaces, as long as they were affordable. We delved into rigorous market analysis to validate our hypothesis and discover new concerns. Our research included preliminary consumer surveys through forms to filter out appropriate candidates who we then conducted user interviews with.
The problem we saw: the lack of affordable workspaces for these students because of their inability to commit long-term financially.
With a specific target market, we were able to quickly move on to conducting user interviews to see if our hypotheses were true and to discover common pain points that we may have missed. From analyzing our interview results through a problem integration, we concluded that though affordability was a key issue, the lack of short-term (hourly) rentals available was also a major concern.
Thorough market analysis proved that our beachhead’s total addressable market was $5.3 million.
Quantifying our user interviews showed that 58% of creative students have trouble finding affordable and flexible workspaces and 52% of space owners have unused space that they don’t know how to rent out. Adopting our solution would fix those pain points through a series of user outcomes.
✓ Generate additional income
✓ Make use of under-utilized space
✓ Safe and easy access to eager renters
✓ Find affordable workspaces
✓ Find short-term spaces
✓ Safe and easy access to these spaces
StudioGo’s main competitors would be Breather and thisopenspace. However, none of our competitors satisfy all our user needs—StudioGo does. While thisopenspace provides bookings for beautiful creative spaces and Breather offers flexible workspaces, they are catered towards established professionals or artists with a big budget. Their price points are simply not doable for our market segment.
The initial wireframe lacked in intuitive affordance and inclusive design. There were visual accessibility issues due to business and lack of contrast, caused in part by the translucent layers. Though the overall design was meant to exude fun and creativity, it took away from the sense of credibility a user would expect from a review app.
The audit of the first set of wireframes allowed me to quickly iterate on some very crucial functions of the app and improve its usability. By conducting an A/B test, I found that the majority of users preferred the second version, not only in specific features, but in overall design.
Solutions: Designing for Challenges
User Challenge: Lack of affordable workspaces
✓ The larger cards in the search function promotes interaction with better visual appeal, allowing for a more comfortable browsing experience.
✓ The narrowed search through filter options enhances the search experience and gives users a way to locate affordable spaces more easily through personalized searches.
User Challenge: Inability to commit long-term financially
✓ The hourly booking system allows short-term rentals with a clear and informative layout.
✓ The booking page displays all important information, including the total booking price, which provides feedback to the budget user so that they may easily see a breakdown of their payment before continuing further.
User Challenge: No safe way to connect space owners with short-term renters
✓ The review system allows for peer-review and verification in order to encourage a safe space and legitimate rental.
✓ The platform itself requires users to be verified through a system, like Airbnb’s, in order to determine that each user is real. Such account verification provides a safer community compared to current user alternatives of finding renters/rentals through unverified third-party platforms.
Our solution gives creatives students a platform to share their location insights through a peer-led community.
The solution came in the form of a mobile app. We integrated a photo sharing platform that allows users to spotlight choice spaces they have visited and identify their features. The interactivity of StudioGo encourages to peers to review, but also provides the anonymity of simply browsing for an ideal spot. Through the marriage of a review and social media platform, it gives our market the ability to identify affordable spaces, build a meaningful network, while working on their passions.
Click above to view full prototype.